Juneau's Seth McBride will be doing some serious traveling next year.
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McBride, a 2001 Juneau-Douglas High School graduate, was selected to the 2008 U.S. Paralympic Wheelchair Rugby Team on Sunday. McBride will join 10 other men at the Paralympics in Beijing, China, next September.
"All these athletes have sacrificed so much to be here and this was a very emotional selection," U.S. coach James Gumbert said. "We feel we've selected the team that is going to win the gold medal in Beijing and we've got a lot of hard work ahead of us to make that happen."
McBride was chosen following a weekend tryout camp at the Lakeshore Foundation U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Site in Birmingham, Ala.
The 24-year-old University of Oregon graduate has developed an impressive resume in his sport in a very short time.
He won a gold medal as part of the United States in the World Wheelchair Rugby Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2006. He also represented the U.S. in championships in the 2006 Canada Cup and North American Cup. In 2005, he won a gold medal in the World Wheelchair Games in Rio de Janeiro.
McBride has also kept active locally. He set a new record in the Frank Maier Marathon wheelchair division in August by completing the 26.2-mile course in Douglas in 2 hours, 27 minutes and 21 seconds. He also owns the Douglas Island Half-Marathon record, crossing the tape in 1:37:22.
Wheelchair rugby, sometimes called quad rugby, received a measure of notoriety with the release of the critically acclaimed documentary film "Murderball" in 2005. The sport, known for its tough players and big collision, has elements of football, basketball and rugby.
The game is played between teams of four on a basketball court. Players try to advance the ball into a goal on the other end. Athletes compete in modified wheelchairs designed to absorb the impact of the jarring collisions during a game.
McBride will be the second Juneau athlete to compete in the Paralympics. Joe Tompkins represented the U.S. in the 2002 and 2006 Winter Paralympics as a mono-skier.
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